Validation and Collaboration Framing: How to Define Success from a Digital Marketing Standpoint

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The client-agency relationship is a delicate thing, requiring time, effort, and attention from both parties in order to function properly. If you run a business and are just beginning to get your marketing efforts underway, you may be wondering how, exactly, you’re meant to navigate this kind of partnership. How do you agree upon milestones? Who decides what gets done and when?

Ultimately, digital marketing agency success depends on finding the right fit, maintaining open communication, and setting realistic goals. Snap is dedicated to promoting productive client-agency collaboration. Today, we’re explaining where successful outcomes come from, how to gauge the effectiveness of your digital marketing efforts, and how to best navigate these valuable partnerships.

Collaborative Goal Setting

Collaboration and communication are the keys to a productive client-agency relationship. Your digital marketing agency needs to understand what you want for your company, and you need to have a basic understanding of (and agree to!) how your agency’s efforts will get you there. Here’s how you can determine the success of all that digital marketing work.

Key Performance Indicators

Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, show concrete progress through statistics. Most people think of KPIs as return on investment (ROI), or what a company gains from the funds it puts into marketing efforts. These are the numbers that you’ll present in company meetings when you want to show how your brand has been impacted by work like PPC campaigns and SEO services.

Here is an (incomplete) list of some common KPIs that companies and agencies use to gauge ROI:

  • Average timeline to close
  • Conversion rate
  • Lifetime value of customer
  • Gross revenue
  • Profitability per product
  • Receivables
  • Customer engagement
  • Sales qualified leads
  • Retention rate
  • Website traffic
  • Click-through rate
  • Google search ranking

How to Set KPIs

Snap begins the collaborative process with new clients by learning about their business objectives and going over their current marketing and channel strategies. Where do they currently sit in terms of revenue and other key indicators, and what improvements do they want to see in those numbers? This discovery process eventually translates those initial goals into KPIs that can be monitored and reported on.

It may seem obvious, but it needs to be said: KPIs must be realistic. Your goals of doubling your conversion rate and increasing your social media following tenfold over the course of a single quarter may be just a bit too lofty. A good digital marketing agency will take into account your dream numbers, then work with you to set attainable standards and execute a plan for getting there.

Ultimately, Snap helps our clients understand which KPIs matter to their unique business needs and goals. How do you know which quantifiable interactions would be best to track for your company? Let’s start simple. Revenue is a fairly safe bet for any business—after all, just about everyone understands money! Now, it comes down to figuring out what kinds of interactions lead to more revenue. Once we agree upon the most helpful KPIs for a client, we work with the client to set targets. This usually involves smaller quarterly milestones and broader goals over an 18-month period. We then track progress using tools like Octoboard (for dashboarding) and Google Tag Manager (for attribution conversion information)

Progress Meetings and Ongoing Communication

Communication is a two-way street—your agency needs feedback from you to begin creating and continue evolving an effective marketing plan. Collaborative goal setting comes into play here as well: how much autonomy will the agency have when it comes to executing the project? What will the client be responsible for providing? How often will KPIs be reported? These questions and more should be answered during an initial meeting, and account progress should be conveyed monthly. These meetings provide an opportunity to take things from email to an in-person meeting or conference call. Ideally, your agency will update you on marketing efforts and goal progression, and you’ll be able to ask any questions you have and provide any relevant company updates during these meetings.

But don’t think that you’re limited to these avenues of communication. If something seems off, whether on your end or with your agency, don’t wait to address it. Your agency may know more about marketing, but you know your company and industry better than anyone. Keep a running list of low-priority questions to bring up during monthly progress meetings. If something seemingly major comes up, don’t hesitate to reach out to your account manager and express your concerns. A simple email or quick phone call is often all it takes to straighten things out and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Being transparent is also essential to keeping your agency’s goals aligned with those of your sales and marketing teams. This can prove to be difficult, depending on the size of your teams. Do what you need to do to ensure that essential communication and updates make their way to your teams after progress meetings, and that your agency has the information it needs to succeed. In return, your digital marketing agency should be able to show you that your funds are being put to good use in the form of positive KPIs.

Partner with Snap to Make Marketing Magic

There is no “one size fits all” approach to digital marketing. That’s why the experts here at Snap give our clients the individual attention they deserve. Through collaborative goal setting, KPI analysis, branding workshops, and plenty of brainstorming, we’ll craft and execute a marketing strategy tailored to your brand’s unique needs. Whether you’re looking for website design, PPC help, or content creation, Snap has you covered. Let’s make something great together—contact us today!


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